NYRock.com, September 2000
Marilyn Mansons talent for freaking people out has been one of the great success stories of recent years. Unfortunately, it has also created a string of problems for the controversial star. Basically a musician with a flair for the outrageous, Manson has been accused of just about every conceivable ill from invading the minds and bodies of good schoolboys and -girls everywhere to causing otherwise happy, perky individuals to leap off tall buildings in droves.
Given this, its not surprising that the man has kept a low profile. Of course, Manson being Manson, hes not about to fade into the sunset either. So, much to the dismay of fundamentalists everywhere, Marilyn is back with a new CD (Holy Wood, set for release on Interscope Records, October 24, 2000) and a few choice words for his ever growing legion of detractors.
NYROCK: A while back you announced a complete stop of all communication on your website. No one could blame you for not talking to members of the press, after all of the negative publicity....
MANSON: I was once a journalist myself and I do understand how the media works. I don't like the media, in general. But I don't have a problem with most journalists. The journalists I usually meet are people who are interested in what I've got to say. Most of the journalists who write all the rubbish that I'm a devil worshipper and stuff like that are people who don't know me, who never even bothered to talk to me.
When I started working on the album it was important that there wasn't any communication, that I could concentrate on the album, but that changed. Right now it is important that I can talk about it, that you ask me about it and I answer the questions. We're both just doing our job.
I don't mind talking to people, answering questions about my work and explaining my motivations. In a way, I feel it's something I have to do to explain what drives me. I still see myself as some sort of journalist. We're both doing the same job. You write articles to express your feelings while I create music to express my feelings and try to express what goes on in the world and in my head. That's another kind of journalism.
NYROCK: I'm just thinking about a few fan sites. Some claimed that you began to dislike journalists....
MANSON: I know a lot of people think I hate journalists. I don't hate all journalists. There is just a certain kind of journalist I hate. The ones who make up stories without bothering to check the facts. The ones who don't care for the truth. The ones who just want a cheap headline and never even bother to stop and think for a minute. Just because there are some idiots in your profession, not all journalists are idiots. I'm pretty sure you meet a lot of assholes in the music business and you don't hate every musician.
I hate the media. But I don't hate journalists or journalism. That's a big difference.
NYROCK: Few musicians have been attacked or misquoted as often as you. Does that create a certain frustration? I'm not sure I could deal with it.
MANSON: I think the media treated me accordingly, especially because I was in a position I moved myself into a position where I was an easy target for the media. I never expected the media to love me. I think I was a thorn in the flesh of a lot of people and especially the media. I did things nobody else dared to do and let's face it, America is still conservative even if they don't like to hear it. I said it before, all the little hypocrites will go and buy the magazine, read about what evil weird people we are and will feel better about themselves. People love to judge, as long as they have somebody else to judge they don't have to concentrate on their own miserable lives. They point at us instead of looking at themselves. In a way we served as scapegoats, something they love to have.
NYROCK: Sometimes it makes you wonder what the general public is ready to believe....
MANSON: For a while I was disgusted with the public. I wanted some peace and quiet to work on the new album and that was why I announced that I wouldn't have any more communication with the public. I needed the three months I took off from being a public person. I needed the three months to decide what I was going to do and how I was going to react.
NYROCK: You were working on the new album Holy Wood and a movie script you're turning into a book. That's quite a lot....
MANSON: The work on the album went hand in hand with the work on the script. I'm turning the script into a book now and the movie will follow later. The album and the book will be named Holy Wood and I think the movie will have the same title.
NYROCK: What are the album, the book and the movie all about?
MANSON: It's some sort of a road movie, but it is a rather revolutionary road movie. Somebody goes on a trip, but it is a rather revolutionary trip. The album Holy Wood is a declaration of war. In a way, I am declaring war on the United States. Not on everybody, but I am attacking the shallowness of the entertainment industry, their self-congratulatory attitude, their beliefs that they can never do wrong, that they're always right, that they're the center of the universe. It is a clear attack on the entertainment industry. And I am living right in the middle of the entertainment industry here in Hollywood.
NYROCK: The new album, Holy Wood, certainly displays a lot of the famous Manson attitude and the music is much harder than Mechanical Animals. Is it a turn back or a step yet in another direction?
MANSON: Once Holy Wood is finished and you take our previous albums and listen to Antichrist Superstar, Mechanical Animals and Holy Wood, you'll realize that it's all part of a story. The story I worked on for the past 10 years. And once the book is finished it will become even clearer, at least on a rather esoteric scale. All the albums are just links on a chain.
NYROCK: So is it goodbye Omega, hello new character?
MANSON: A character like Omega (which I adopted for the previous album) and a song like "Rock Is Dead" were both satirical pictures of a rebellious rock star. I played a role. It wasn't Marilyn Manson. It was a parody, but a lot of people didn't get that.
NYROCK: Sometimes it is a bit confusing to follow all your changes and keep up with them....
MANSON: Mechanical Animals was an album that expressed my personal revolution. But it was two years ago. I dared to record exactly the album I wanted to record. Mechanical Animals and the character Omega were just elements of my art. Now, in retrospect, they've become very essential elements of my art.
NYROCK: What's behind your image changes?
MANSON: I have the idealism to start a revolution, but I had to realize that my revolution started to be just another product of the system. Omega is the perfect example for it. The new album Holy Wood will remind everyone about the things they always hated.
NYROCK: How would you describe your albums in general?
MANSON: Every album is some sort of a mirror, a mirror of the feelings I used to have when I wrote the album. But people change and I change too. I am not the same person I used to be. It would be sad if I still was. If you take the albums and look at them, they're like photo albums, pictures of the past, pictures of an evolution, my own personal evolution.
NYROCK: And your image changes, how would you describe them in general?
MANSON: I'm always changing. My music is changing. And the image and the music should go hand in hand. Once I listen to a new song I get some picture in my head, an image that will complement the music and that's what I'm trying to do.
NYROCK: You are pretty controversial. Do you ever tire of being Mr. Controversial?
MANSON: It's just the way I am. I can't be any different and I can't imagine being different. I am not trying to shock or enrage the people on purpose. It's not some sort of plan. It's just my personality. It's pretty easy to shock people. Everybody can do it. That's why I'm not really out to do it. It wouldn't be a challenge.
NYROCK: Any final comments on the media?
MANSON: The media held me responsible for basically every act of violence that happened in America, no matter what. So what should I do? Stand there and let them fuck me over or turn around and smash their teeth in? I decided that I'm going to do the latter. But I'm going to do it with Holy Wood and I'm going to do it so hard that they'll wish they've never been born.